Cotton yield in the Malwa region of west central India has surpassed last year’s figures. This inspite of the fact that the cotton growing area in the Malwa belt reduced to 2.48 lakh hectares in 2016-17 from 4.5 lakh hectares in 2015-16 as growers feared the possibility of a pest attack.
At least 6.6 lakh bales of cotton have been procured so far as against the total production of 6.5 lakh bales last year. Last year, whitefly destroyed more than 60 per cent of the cotton crop in the Malwa belt.
Higher prices of the white gold have come as an icing on the cake for growers as they are getting an average of Rs 5,900 per quintal for their crop. Last year, farmers got Rs 3,800 to Rs 4,200 per quintal after the whitefly attack.
The quality and yield of the cotton crop have improved this year and farmers are getting lucrative prices for their produce. More than 60 per cent of the total yield was sold for more than Rs 5,000 per quintal. Due to low production last year, the demand for cotton in India and abroad has shot up this year, which is another reason for farmers getting higher prices.